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Ultimate Hawaiian Haystacks

13 Reviews

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you’re going to go crazy for them!

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you're going to go crazy for them! ohsweetbasil.com

Alright, alright! I am clearly not in Washington anymore, Toto! I’ve lived in Utah for 10 years now. 10 YEARS! You guys, am I old enough to even say that? Slowly but surely I’m learning that Utah has a great love of food and family and it’s best to get on board or else you’re totally a loser. These ultimate Hawaiian haystacks actually come from a place of great fear. Fear of being an outcast…

What Are Hawaiian Haystacks?

A Hawaiian haystack (also known as a “chicken sundae”) is a type of haystack.

It is a convenience cuisine dish composed of a rice base and several toppings.

It is prepared by topping rice with toppings such as chicken, chicken gravy, diced pineapple, diced tomatoes, Chinese noodles, cheese, and celery.

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you're going to go crazy for them! ohsweetbasil.com

You see, when we first moved to Utah we learned of this thing called, Funeral Potatoes. Basically a cheesy potato casserole with a horrible name. Then there’s the whole Swig cookie thing that I hold strong on not enjoying a cold cookie which is why you don’t see a copycat recipe here. Oh and of course the Navajo Taco and Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, Cafe Rio Chicken, Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice. I mean, you’re totally an outcast if you don’t have those recipes in your recipe box in this state. Don’t even start me on the Magleby’s Buttermilk syrup (it’s liquid gold but that one I did actually grow up on) and Waffle Love Copycat.

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you're going to go crazy for them! ohsweetbasil.com

The list goes on forever. Utah loves to be social and eat. I was at a relief society meeting the other day and mentioned I’ve never done the whole Hawaiian Haystacks thing and I am pretty sure real live fiery darts shot out of eyeballs aimed straight for my head.

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you're going to go crazy for them! ohsweetbasil.com

“Mucho take it easy…” folks! (Yes, Nacho Libre is another Utah obsession. No joke. It’s an acquired taste, but I have to admit it has grown on me.) So I researched. And researched. And researched some more. And then I cried a little because much like the other Utah favorite of crockpot chicken and rice (or potatoes or pasta if your family does it different) it’s just this whole cream of chicken soup thing. Nothing wrong with that of course, but I had to shut the door when every recipe called for Chinese noodles.

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you're going to go crazy for them! ohsweetbasil.com

Nooooooooo. I don’t want Chinese noodles! So I closed up pinterest and set out to make an ultimate version. From scratch. One that actually sounded like it could be Hawaiian. It uses coconut milk, fresh not canned pineapple and crispy little won ton strips instead of those overcooked noodle thingys. You guys, it turned out good. It turned out real good and Hawaiian Haystacks are officially in our recipe book to be eaten often! boom.

What Kind of Rice is Healthiest?

The common variety of white rice is processed to remove the bran and germ, which also removes fiber and B vitamins.

The rice is then polished to improve appearance.

For better nutrition, choose brown, red, black or wild rice.

Ultimate Hawaiian Haystacks

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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The Ultimate Hawaiian Haystacks ohsweetbasil.com

Ultimate Hawaiian Haystacks

4.24 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you're going to go crazy for them!


  • 2 Cups Rotisserie Chicken cubed
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream or Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice


  • Wonton Strips
  • Olives
  • Raisins or Craisins
  • Tomatoes chopped
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Pineapple chopped
  • Mandarin Oranges drained
  • Green Onions chopped
  • 4 Cups Cooked Rice


  • In saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and melt.
  • Add the garlic, whisking quickly and then flour and continue to whisk for one minute to remove the flour flavor.
  • Add the remaining seasoning, cream and half the coconut milk.
  • Whisk and then bring to a simmer.
  • Allow to cook for 2 minutes or until thick.
  • Whisk in remaining coconut milk and sour cream.
  • Add the chicken and season to taste.
  • To serve, place rice on bottom, chicken gravy on top and any toppings you desire.
  • Store leftovers in separate containers in the fridge.


Store left overs in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Ultimate Hawaiian Haystacks
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 271mg12%
Potassium 196mg6%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 647IU13%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hawaiian Haystacks the better way! ohsweetbasil.com

Ditch the soup cans and Chinese noodles, this is ultimate Hawaiian haystacks recipe and you’re going to go crazy for them! ohsweetbasil.com

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating


  • My daughter now has to go gluten free and we have always loved Hawaiian Haystacks. Can you give me quick instructions on how I can use cornstarch to thicken instead of flour in your recipe?

    • Reply
    • After step 6 when you add the coconut milk and sour cream, I would add a cornstarch and water mixture (1 tsp cornstarch to 1 Tbsp water). Whisk that in until it gets thick. It will have to be quite high heat to thicken but as soon as it thickens, turn the heat down and simmer with the chicken.

      • Reply
  • You really have it goin’ on girl!  Help me out with this-we have guests coming that can’t eat chicken or the rich gravy because of gout. But she can eat salmon. So we are maki lng haystacks with salmon but what sauce or topping would be good?  Yikes. Betty email me quick if you can as they are coming tonight. Fellow Utahn. 

    • Reply
  • Ummmmm…. fantastic! Thank you for this version sans cream o’mush soup. Family loved them, I will be making this many more times. I don’t understand how these ingredients work but they somehow do!

    • Reply
    • Right?! That’s what is so great about Hawaiian haystacks…on paper it sounds like craziness, but it works! And it works amazingly! Thanks for the kind comment!!

      • Reply
  • My sister sent me this post saying it was delicious and I just had to try. I tried it today and oh my, what a tasty and flavorful recipe! Love it! =D

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much!

      • Reply
  • This looks like a fun enough recipe, but it doesn’t really feel all that “Hawaiian” to me. Having grown up in Hawaii, I’d like to offer a few alternative suggestions:
    Instead of rotisserie chicken, try huli huli chicken or kalua pork. The pork I definitely think would work well with this recipe and feel more hawaiian.
    For toppings, the pineapple and wonton strips are okay, but none of others are really hawaiian at all. Try some mango or papaya instead of the oranges, and if you want tomatoes, prepare them lomi lomi salmon style (marinated in sesame oil, sea salt, and soy sauce along with the chopped onion).
    I can’t really think of good direct substitutes for the olives, raisins, or cheese, but most people in Hawaii will put grilled spam cubes or portuguese sausage on anything.
    If using pork in the gravy, you can also top it with some boiled cabbage, or use the cabbage in place of the rice for a lighter option.
    Instead of any other toppings, you could also just go rice, pork-gravy, and top it with a fried egg for a “loco moco” haystack.

    • Reply
    • Hi, thank you so much for your thoughts. This is an old recipe that’s a tradition all over the United States, but especially Utah. We agree, it’s not very Hawaiian, but that is the name it has always had. 🙂

      • Reply
  • You should try shredded coconut and peas on them (sounds weird I know, but the sweet/salty combo is SO good!!!)!

    • Reply
    • Oh that actually sounds awesome! I love sweet/salty combos!

      • Reply
  • I cringe whenever I see someone mistake “Cream of [something]” soup as meaning “Canned crap.” Yes, generally, y’all are screwing up and obtaining your “Cream of [whatever]” from the red can of doom, but if you make your own, it is SO GOOD. I personally LOVE Hawaiian Haystacks with homemade Cream of Chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and pineapple.

    • Reply
  • Thank you thank you! I cringe every time I see ‘cream of anything’ soup as an ingredient in a recipe. How hard is it to reduce some milk or cream (or cheat by opening a tin of evaporated milk) and add some fresh ingredients?

    • Reply
    • It’s definitely much easier than many people think. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Another beauty of yours’ 🙂 Thank you for being so refreshing and bright and creative. I am hooked to come over and over again…..

    • Reply
    • Thank you!

      • Reply

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